Now that we all have seen the screenshots of Heroes 5 I think it is time to discuss some elemenets of the game that haven't really been discussed before; fog of war (fow) and the map end. Now in Heroes 3 it was the usual fow, if you go there it will go away and stay away. And the ending of a map would just be a sudden stop, it all worked well in 2D.
However in 3D we have a different situation, fow will have to be real thick to cover the terrain (high and lows, buildings?). Or maybe the various buildings will not render until the fow is lifted to prevent one from reading the horizon so to speak?
Then we have the map ending, how will it be neatly put into the 3D world? Just an ubrupt ending? A border then empty? From the screenshots one could get the idea that there are mountains that act like the final borders. But what's behind those? Doesn't really matter one might think since there is no gameplay there.
One could draw the conclusion that we will not be able to zoom down and angle our view as much as seen in those screenshots mainly because it generates problems ... what do you guys think?
I wouldn't like fog of war as in H4 but prefer only the shroud as in H3. Fog of war might add to strategy but also constantly puts a blanket over beautiful graphics and landscapes which I always thought was a shame. If fog of war is implemented, it should be optional imo.
I think thick fog is quite easy to generate in a 3D environment. AFAIK, 3D engines use a "fog" (or athmosphere density) parameter to know until were they have to draw - that is what also gives the several "layers" of horizon, each one more difuminated.
Now, if this parameter can be adjusted to different map zones, it might present no problem - zones under the fog of war will fade away much faster, and therefore you will be unable to see under them. Also, there is a possibility to only render the terrain in these zones, as you comment (wich is quite similar to what is done under the "light" fog of war in Heroes IV, were heroes/creatures are nod drawn even being there)
About the map borders. I see two possibilities, one is to make the 3D surface of the map "float" in a void space (wich I do not like that much) so the end of the map is a sheet floating in the void. The second possibility, that works quite well, is a trick many 3D games use nowadays. There is a little extension after map borders (let's say a "second border") that expands a bit what is inside the true map. And camera is relatively free, but not allowed to go into positions that allow you to see behind that "second border". That way, you sense the world continues, because you are not allowed to see the end.
On a side note, answering to Heroine... i'd like FoW as in H4, but much more lighter so the graphs are little obscured, but still can shine.
I agree Aseved. But this matter depends on the perspectives we'll be able to choose. If our views are bound to the ground, maybe there won't be fog of war (it would be no longer needed), perhaps a line of sight system which would depend on the hero's scouting skill in order to set the spottin field, which I see the more logical because before, from King's Bounty to H4, heroes were allowed to see through mountains and forests. Maybe this system could be completed with an assembled minimap on 2D, or maybe this matter could be solved with a spell of low level which would show us a more detailed vision of what is explored yet, don't know, what's your opinion?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lepastur:
I agree Aseved. But this matter depends on the perspectives we'll be able to choose. If our views are bound to the ground... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
You're crazy did you know? . That won't ever happen, that would certainly kill the game. How are you supposed to take tactical decisions with such a perspective?.
And it's already been confirmed that there's free camera so we won't be bound to anything.
While I agree that it makes no sense, I'd like FOW to act like it did in HoMM III, so once an area is revealed you can see anyone who goes through.
This is because FOW forces you to keep units in explored areas to look up for enemies, increasing MM a whole lot and making turns longer and more boring.
As for map borders, the good old 3D trick Aseved mentioned is what most games use, and what I think will fit in quite nicely.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vitirr:
You're crazy did you know? . <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thanks, my friend, someones say crazy people are no more than people with a big and weird imagination . I was only supposing certain facts, nothing more .
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>That won't ever happen, that would certainly kill the game. How are you supposed to take tactical decisions with such a perspective?. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
For example with what I said above, a tactical minimap, which it seems more logical and realistic (inside fantasy).
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>And it's already been confirmed that there's free camera so we won't be bound to anything. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sure? That's relative, maybe we'll have a free camera bound to the ground
I think the map edges could also be dealt with by encasing the map in impassable terrain of various sorts. That would prevent a strange effect of your being able to look further, but run against a glass wall. Of course, it poses some problems of explaining "How did we actually get here?", but well, you could still have one or two "invisible wall" places, e.g. on a road, with a roadsign say "To Exeter", making it understandable that this area is off the map.
I think they should have an intelligence skill which will uncover the whole map once reached grandmaster level. If a Hero dosn't have the skill then he will constantly roam in the Fog Of War and never be able to lift the shroud. Meaning, the shroud should work with the intelligence skill and the fog of war should work with the scouting skill as usual.
Fog of war is simply a term used to describe the uncertainty involved in dealing with the chaotic nature of a strategic (and sometimes tactical) battlefield. The shroud implementation, wherein the territory that has been seen is visible, but units are not, has come to be not only accepted, but expected. I would expect them to utilize some similar system.
As far as edges are concerned, this is not an issue, there are many many ways to get around it. See how WoW handles it and you can get some ideas. Huge raging rivers, massive mountation ranges, area that are forbidden by the gods, all of these can serve as means to maintain the suspension of disbelief while still providing boundaries...